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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Kris Wilken, who was drafted by the Orioles in 2000, will be K.B. Scull's replacement.
By JOEY KNIGHT
Published May 25, 2007
TAMPA - Unlike the construction work he has been doing the past 18 months, Kris Wilken's new job - Bloomingdale's baseball coach - won't require any foundation-laying.
It was poured by his predecessor, K.B. Scull, long ago.
"The challenge is going to be to maintain what he's already built, " said Wilken, whose hiring as Scull's replacement was announced late Wednesday. "I think it would be egotistical or arrogant to act like I'm going to go in there and build something that's already built."
A three-year starting catcher/infielder at the University of Houston and two-time major-league draft choice, Wilken, 28, was selected from among roughly 15 applicants, Bulls athletic director Danielle Shotwell said.
Scull announced his retirement after 12 years as coach in late April, but he remained with the team until its season ended in the Class 5A region finals earlier this month.
"I thought Wilken brought kind of a unique experience as far as obviously coaching, being a player in the minor leagues and being a successful player in college, " Shotwell said.
A 12th-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2000, Wilken spent six seasons in the organization, getting as high as the Triple A level before abandoning his big league dreams.
"I have a family, and that's always a lot different than it is on single guys, " said Wilken, father of a 5-year-old boy and 21-month-old girl. "Minor league baseball's not real conducive to raising a family."
He befriended Brandon coach Matt Staullbaumer while training with a handful of other pro players in Brandon during his offseasons, and joined the Eagles' coaching staff in 2006.
A 1997 graduate of Eldorado High in Albuquerque, N.M., Wilken was named that state's Gatorade player of the year as a senior and drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the '97 major-league draft before opting for college.
Shotwell said Wilken will join Bloomingdale's faculty - at a position yet to be determined - in time for the start of the 2007-08 school year. He'll earn an annual coaching supplement of $1, 716.54.